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This review is taken from PN Review 8, Volume 5 Number 4, July - September 1979.

REMOVING THE STIGMA Peter Jones, The Garden End: new and selected poems, Carcanet, £2.90.

The Garden End includes the best work from Peter Jones's three earlier collections-Rain (1969), Seagarden for Julius (1970) and The Peace and the Hook (1972)-as well as new poems, and an afterword which illuminates how fruitful the misreadings of reviewers can be. Jones's poetry, in the increasingly anti-modernist climate of the late 1960s and the 1970s, has been stigmatized as "imagist". The term "imagist" has a specific meaning, but the reviewers who have slapped it on Jones's work have been careless in their use of it. Perplexed by the label, Jones studied imagist poetry and produced his anthology Imagist Poetry (Penguin Books) with an introduction which defines the term succinctly. And he is not what he describes there. But of course once he had taken the trouble to perform this useful critical task, the word "imagist" was graven all the more deeply on what looked to be a critical tombstone. It is now possible, with the evidence of this new collection, to revise the misreading. Certainly he has learned lessons from modernism. Few contemporary poets haven't. But his poems are not a throwback to the century's teens. They're achieved in quite another manner from the work of the imagist school which was, after all, merely an apprenticeship in which several major writers learned their formative lessons in prosody and poetic technique.

One feature of The Garden End is the revisions of earlier work. In particular, Jones has completely reorganized his long sequence, "Seagarden for Julius"-a poem dedicated ...


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